How to lodge an application for international protection?

A person intending to lodge an application for international protection (applicant) to the Head of the Office for Foreigners must report to a competent Border Guard authority. If the application is to concern other individuals as well (such as minor children, the applicant’s spouse), these persons also need to be present during the submission of the application.

In case of unaccompanied minors, an application for international protection should be lodged by the guardian or a representative of international organization or NGO providing assistance to the foreigners, including legal assistance, when on the basis of individual assessment of the unaccompanied minor’s situation, the organization decides that he or she is in need of such protection.

Lodging an application for international protection is possible:

  • when entering the territory of the Republic of Poland during border control (a Border Guard officer must be informed about your intention to apply for asylum),
  • during your stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland you need to visit any Border Guard unit or outpost,
  • with the chief of a Border Guard Service division or outpost whose operations cover the territory in which a detention centre, a deportation detention centre, a remand centre or a correction unit are located – in cases when the person seeking international protection is staying in the above detention places.

In case the Border Guard cannot receive the application for international protection on the application form on the day when the foreigner comes in person to the seat of this institution and declares his or her willingness to lodge such application, the Border Guard informs the foreigner, in a language he or she understands, about the date and place of receiving the application for international protection and protocols this activity.

In case the foreigner is disabled, senior, pregnant, single parent, foster child, hospitalized, arrested in custody or penal institution and cannot come in person to the seat of the Border Guard, a written declaration of willingness to apply for international protection can be submitted by post or e-mail. In such cases, the application for international protection is received and registered by the proper Border Guard institution according to the foreigner’s place of staying. The declaration of the willingness to apply for the international protection my concern also other people (minor children, the applicant’s spouse).

In both of the above mentioned cases, receiving the application, as well as its registration are done immediately and not longer than within 3 working days from the day of receiving the declaration of the willingness to apply for the international protection, and in case of a massive influx of foreigners to the territory of the Republic of Poland in order to receive international protection – within 10 working days.

While submitting an application you need to produce all held documents (including identity and travel documents) and all the other held evidence which might confirm your circumstances. This rule applies both to the applicant and to all the persons that the application concerns.

An application for international protection is filled in Polish on a special form (see: the FORMS tab) based on the information obtained during the foreigner’s conversation with a Border Guard officer. An interpreter of the language spoken by the person participates in the conversation, if required.

Application submission is accompanied by additional procedures such as:

  • (compulsory) photographing,
  • taking fingerprints (compulsory for persons aged over 14),
  • medical examinations and sanitary treatment,
  • detailed check of the person (only in cases justified by order and security reasons),
  • individual interview concerning the circumstances indicating which country will be responsible for examining the application for international protection.

Each adult will be informed in writing, in a language he or she understands, of the rules and modus operandi of the international protection procedure, as well as of their rights and obligations arising from the submission of the application.

In case of people who are disabled, senior, as well as single parents and pregnant women, the Border Guard ensures the transportation to the reception center, and in justified cases also meal during the transportation.

When the application is accepted, the procedure of examining the application is initiated. By means of confirmation, each adult receives a document – a temporary certificate of foreigner’s identity, which confirms the person’s identity and authorises the person and minor children whose data are included in the certificate to reside in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The person who has submitted the application for international protection may be detained and then placed in a detention centre or a deportation detention centre for a period of 60 days. Any decisions regarding this matter will be issued by a court. The period of stay in a centre may be extended. An early release of the detainee is also possible. Alternative measures are also envisaged in legal regulations, such as reporting at set intervals to a specific authority or paying a surety.

Individuals who are not subject to detention when their application is being processed may enjoy social assistance and medical care services guaranteed by the Head of the Office for Foreigners (see: the SOCIAL ASSISTANCE tab).